Report of men wearing masks near shopping area draws Vernon RCMP attention

Police recommending charges against two individuals found with various weapons

The two men wearing black masks over their  faces and gloves on their hands near the Fruit Union Plaza late Saturday morning caught the attention of an alert citizen.

The citizen called Vernon RCMP shortly after 10:30 a.m. to report the men. Officers were dispatched and they found the two men – one, 26, who, police say, is well-known to them. The other suspect is 18.

They were found in possession of balaclavas – though not on their faces when officers investigated – and some other items.

“Our officers checked the 26-year-old and he had two knives and a baton on him,” said Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.

The 18-year-old was checked and was found in possession of a hunting knife.

When asked to explain, the 18-year-old told officers “he was afraid some guys were going to beat him up,” said Molendyk, “and asked his friend to escort him home.”

Both individuals were arrested and released on promises to appear in court.

Police are recommending charges of carrying a concealed weapon and possessing a weapon dangerous to the public against both individuals.